European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2017

European Honors Program

Founded in 1960, RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) is a unique art and design pre-graduation residency-style program that welcomes a select group of students from all RISD departments at RISD’s site in Rome.

EHP's robust, self-directed multidisciplinary studio environment is designed to feed independent, experimental studio projects. In the Studio Elective and Concentration courses you’ll make choices about the media, topics and trajectories of inquiry you explore, while benefiting from RISD’s signature rigor and academic guidance provided by your Chief Critic.

The EHP studio experience is complemented by a liberal arts curriculum focused on Art History and Italian language and culture. The semester includes an unparalleled series of short-term field trips, including a week-long travel tour throughout Italy, as well as workshops and group critiques from visiting artists and designers—all integral pieces of the RISD in Rome experience. The EHP curriculum offers an opportunity to inhabit the life of an artist working independently in Rome, with RISD's support and resources.

The maximum enrollment per semester is 22 students and selection is competitive. Over 1200 EHP alumni now live and work around the world and many directly reference their time at EHP as extremely important to their development as makers. Apply the semester before you plan to attend. Prior to applying, we recommend that you attend an information session held on campus before completing and submitting your application.

COVID-19 Update: Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic as well as RISD’s campus re-opening plans, all RISD Global off-campus learning programs, including EHP, are suspended for Fall 2020 and Wintersession 2021. Read more in our announcement here.

At-a-glance

When
Fall/Spring, 1 semester

Fall: September–December (16 weeks)
Spring: January–May (20 weeks)

Who
Open to RISD students, Brown University students

Juniors + Seniors. Minimum 3.0+ GPA required.

Application Deadline
Due to COVID-19, the application for Spring 2021 is under review.
Academic Credits
15 / 18

Fall semester: 15 RISD credits
Spring semester: 18 RISD credits

Instruction Language
  • English
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018

History of EHP

RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) was founded in 1960 by faculty members Gilbert Franklin, Dr. Frank Deigman (Dean of Students) and Samuel F. Hershey (Chairman of the Division of Freshman Foundation), and under the direction of the School's President John R. Frazier. At the time, EHP was the first program of its kind hosted by a US art and design institution in Italy.

The founders pursued the program after completing fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, an arts research institution that supports innovative artists, writers, and scholars living and working together in a dynamic international community. They aimed to create a residency-like environment for RISD students to learn and practice in the unique cultural and creative environment of Rome, as they had done at the Academy. RISD’s EHP is now entering its 6th decade!

Apply to EHP

The entire application process will be completed using an online application portal. Apply the semester before you plan to attend.

View details

About EHP + FAQ

Explore our EHP Advising Booklet and read answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about EHP below:

Is EHP running in Fall 2020?

Given the ongoing and global COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impacts on travel, borders and visa restrictions, as well as RISD’s campus re-opening plans, all RISD Global off-campus learning programs, including EHP, are suspended for Fall 2020 and Wintersession 2021. Read more in our announcement here.

For more information about RISD’s response to COVID-19, please review the School’s latest COVID-19 updates.

Is EHP right for me?

EHP is a perfect fit if you are looking for an interdisciplinary academic experience as you will be part of a cohort of juniors, seniors and grads from all RISD departments. Also, since EHP is based on an artistic residency model, it is well suited for a wide variety of artists, designers, and architects. Learn more about EHP Academics.

What courses and credits does EHP offer?

During EHP, you will engage in a two-part, self-directed studio curriculum, guided by your EHP Chief Critic, as well as Liberal Arts coursework in Art History and Italian language and Culture. You will earn a total of 15 credits in Fall semester or 18 credits in Spring. Learn more about EHP Academics.

Who teaches EHP courses?

In addition to guidance from your EHP Chief Critic, appointed every year from RISD’s Providence campus, you will benefit from the Liberal Arts faculty, the Rome staff, as well as prominent international and Italian artists acting as visiting lecturers and guest critics. Learn about the team in Rome and the EHP Chief Critic.

Do I need to be fluent in Italian to attend?

No, all EHP classes are taught in English. You will enroll in an Italian Language and Culture class at a level that’s appropriate for you. However, as with all global travel and learning experiences, we strongly encourage all students interested in and/or accepted to EHP to begin to learn even basic Italian phrases through digital resources such as DuoLingo, among others. As a global citizen, when at all possible, it is important to be able to greet people, ask for directions, thank people, etc. in the local language of the place you are visiting.

Are there field trips on EHP?

During your EHP semester, you and your cohort will embark on a week-long travel tour throughout Italy as well as some day-trips; all travel expenses for official field/day trips and tours are included in your semester fee, allowing for equal participation by all EHP semester students. You will also have a week break, dubbed the “independent travel week” during the semester, in which you will be able to explore Italy and Europe at your own pace.

Can I do an internship in Rome?

Yes, you may complete an internship in Rome before, during, or after EHP. If you’re traveling to Rome on a Study Abroad visa, you’ll have 90 days eligibility to remain in Europe before or after your program dates. We recommend working with RISD Careers to find and register your internship for credit.

When does EHP take place?

You can apply for EHP for either the Fall or Spring semester. The Fall semester program is composed of 16 weeks, starting the first week of September, concluding the third week of December. The Spring semester program is composed of 20 weeks, starting the first week of January, concluding the final week of May.

What does the academic calendar look like?

  • Week 1: Arrival and Orientation at the Palazzetto Cenci
  • Week 2: Studio Elective, Art History, and Italian Language and Culture classes begin
  • Travel Tour: This week-long field trip, included in your course tuition, moves beyond Rome to explore contemporary Italian art and culture in northern or southern Italy
  • Week 8: Midterm review
  • Week 11: Final exams for Liberal Arts courses and mid-crit for Studio
  • Independent Travel Week: In this week break from courses following exams students are encouraged to explore other cities in Italy and Europe, to gain inspiration for their studio concentration period
  • Week 13: Studio Concentration begins
  • Week 16 (Fall) / Week 20 (Spring): Final studio review, exhibition, and opening at the Palazzetto Cenci

Link to EHP Calendar: Spring 2020

Link to EHP Calendar: Fall 2020

Link to EHP Calendar: Spring 2021

Can I extend EHP into a second semester?

Yes. As a matter of fact, EHP was founded and existed for over 45 years as a year-long program! Now it functions as a semester program, but some EHP students choose to apply for an extension into a second semester. To do so, please contact RISD Global. You will also need the support of your department to do so.

How much does EHP cost?

In addition to your standard tuition and student activity fee, you will pay a program fee. This fee covers mandatory accommodation, a week-long travel tour and day trips throughout Italy* including accommodations and museum/activity admissions, some group meals, and mandatory travel health insurance. You can find the current program fee in the “At-a-Glance” orange box on the EHP semester page for your semester of interest.

In addition, you will be responsible for the following out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Airfare to and from Rome
  • Student Visa + Resident Permit
  • Local transportation (bus/subway)
  • Meals: self-catering in shared dormitory kitchens**
  • Supplies/Materials: you may choose to bring your art supplies and materials with your or to purchase them once in Rome. You will find that some materials will be cheaper, and others will be more expensive once in Italy. To get an idea of general expenses for different art/design supplies and materials visit the Poggi Art Store website (Italian). All prices listed are in Euros. For packing guidelines on art supplies, visit the Transportation Security Authority (TSA).

    * All travel/accommodation costs for class field trips, excursions, and the week-long guided tour of Italian cities are included.

    ** Meal plans are not available at the Palazzetto Cenci and are not included in the price of housing. The Cenci is equipped with 3 modern kitchens, in which you can prepare your own meals. Many affordable, fresh grocery options are available in the surrounding neighborhood.

Why do I have to continue to pay the Student Activity Fee while in Rome?

You continue to pay the RISD Student Activity Fee in Rome because RISD in Rome is a RISD campus. The activity fee is simply applied to the cost of student activities on the Rome campus for the semester you attend.

Will I receive financial aid when I attend EHP?

Your regular RISD Financial Aid package continues to apply during EHP (if applicable).

Is work study available?

Multiple work study opportunities exist at the Palazzetto Cenci for RISD students. To be eligible for EHP Work Study you must obtain a US social security number and complete mandatory paperwork with the Student Employment Office prior to leaving Providence. Brown University students are not eligible to receive work study funding through RISD.

SFS Balance Payment Policy

Per Student Financial Services policy, RISD students who plan to travel on school-sponsored trips must first pay your student account balance in full. If your account has an outstanding balance you are ineligible for travel until full payment has been made and you may forfeit any funds already used to book travel arrangements.

Are scholarships available?

RISD Global partners with Student Financial Services and Institutional Engagement as well as the Office of Social Equity and Inclusion to offer limited need-based travel scholarships, for RISD students participating in EHP. All RISD students are eligible to apply. Brown University students are not eligible to receive scholarship funding through RISD.

Full and partial scholarships are awarded. A full RISD Travel Scholarship covers the entire EHP program fee. The scholarship application is embedded within the program application. Learn more – Scholarship Opportunities.

Are other funding opportunities available?

Finding funding for off-campus global learning experiences can seem daunting, but persistence pays off! Explore this proven list of trusted sources for external scholarship funding for off-campus programs, beyond the scope of RISD’s Travel Scholarship Funding. You might also consider meeting with Student Financial Services to explore if you are eligible for alternate/private loans that can be applied to your semester at EHP.

Multiple work study opportunities exist at the Palazzetto Cenci for RISD students. To be eligible for EHP Work Study you must obtain a US social security number and complete mandatory paperwork with the Student Employment Office prior to leaving Providence. Brown University students are not eligible to receive work study funding through RISD.

Is EHP right for me?

You can attend EHP during your junior or senior year (or anytime if you are a grad). You must have at least a 3.0 GPA to apply. Students enrolled in Brown University’s Visual Art + Architecture concentrations are also welcome to apply.

To apply, you must demonstrate general qualifications of maturity and motivation. You must also demonstrate a strong commitment to and interest in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, the ability to work on self-directed studio projects, and a flexible approach towards studio practice, based on a cross-disciplinary, group-based, and equipment-low environment. Finally, you must remain in good standing at RISD, in terms of conduct and finances, up until and throughout your time on the program. Learn more - Apply to EHP.

How do I apply?

The entire application process will be completed using an online application portal. Learn more - Apply to EHP.

Off-Campus Programs Policy

As per RISD's Off-Campus Programs policy, all European Honors Program students enrolled at RISD must remain in good standing, in terms of conduct and finances, up until and throughout your time on the program. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from EHP, either before or during the program.

Where is RISD in Rome?

In EHP, students live and work at RISD in Rome, in the 16th century Palazzetto Cenci, which is located in the heart of the Jewish quarter and community in Rome, within walking distance of the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Colloseum and the Roman Forum.

Can I find my own accommodation and not pay part of the program fee?

No, RISD requires all EHP participants to live on campus within the Palazzetto Cenci.

How is housing different? What should I expect?

In EHP, you will live and work in the 16th century Palazzetto Cenci within walking distance of the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. RISD requires all EHP participants to live on campus within the Palazzetto Cenci. The shared living arrangements of the European Honors Program promote a unique living-learning community that complements the academic experience. The Cenci provides you with a large, shared studio and dorm-style double room accommodation with gender inclusive single bathrooms. If you have questions or concerns about life at the Cenci in relation to a disability, please contact RISD Disabilities Students Services as soon as possible, preferably prior to program acceptance.

Can I get a single room?

The Cenci provides dorm-style double room accommodation. If the semester cohort doesn’t meet the 22 student maximum capacity, single rooms will be offered through lottery, with priority given to students with a formal disability accommodation. If that’s your case, please communicate with RISD Disabilities Students Services as soon as possible, preferably prior to program acceptance.

Can I request a roommate for EHP?

Yes, in EHP you are allowed to request a particular roommate. If you do request a roommate, make sure that your potential roommate requests you as well!

Will I have a meal plan at EHP?

No, at EHP you will prepare your own food in one of three recently renovated modern kitchens within the Palazzetto Cenci. Don’t worry – food is definitely a highlight in Rome! Campo di Fiori, a famous open-air market where you can buy fresh produce daily, is within a 5 minute walk. There is also a grocery store called COOP right around the corner, if you need something specific in a pinch. While attending EHP you’ll place your on-campus RISD dining plan on hold.

Where can I do laundry in the Palazzetto Cenci?

There are two washers and a dryer in the student housing at our site in Rome. There are also laundromats nearby, if you prefer that.

Is there WIFI?

Yes, you will get the WIFI passwords when you move in. Some students also like to buy or set up a Hotspot, for added coverage. Please know that the walls of the Palazzetto Cenci were constructed in the 16th century and are vast in scale; for this reason, you should be prepared for a different type of connectivity at the Rome campus than at the Providence campus.

Will there be a group airfare? Do I have to travel with the group to start and end the trip?

No. We realize many students have different departure points and post-trip destinations, so traveling with the group is not compulsory. We simply require that you arrange your schedule to arrive at RISD’s site in Rome on the first day and remain with the group until the final day. You will be asked to provide your flight schedule details to RISD Global so we know when to expect you.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, participation in EHP requires a valid passport that should not expire within 6 months of the return date from your EHP semester. Additional requirements may apply.

  • U.S. citizens: Check the Department of State website for application/renewal guidance.
  • Citizens of all other countries: Check your consulate/embassy’s website for renewal guidance. If you have an I-20 form, you must also ensure that you get it signed for travel by a member of the Office of International Student Services (OISS) before departing the United States. If you are a Permanent Resident you should carry your green card together with your passport.

If you determine that your passport is not valid prior to travel, contact RISD Global immediately!

Do I need a visa?

This depends on your citizenship. If you are an Italian or EU citizen, you do not need a visa to study in Rome. All other nationalities do require a study abroad visa. RISD Global will assist with the visa application process upon your acceptance.

Do I need health insurance?

Yes, travel health insurance offered by RISD Global’s preferred provider is included in the EHP program fee. This is supplementary coverage meant to complement, not replace, your standard health insurance coverage.

Are there art supplies stores nearby? Is it easy to get what I need?

Yes, Poggi Art Store is a popular art supply store nearby to RISD’s site in Rome. There are other specialty supply stores for a variety of materials, all accessible by public transportation. Supplies in Italy may differ from what you are used to at home or in Providence. If you have a favorite tool or material you know you will need, you may want to bring it with you, as postal mail and customs taxes can make shipping items to Italy a slow and costly process.

What are weekends like at the Palazzetto Cenci?

Many students use their weekends to travel to other parts of Italy or other countries at least once during the semester. As long as you get permission beforehand and don't miss any classes, it is a great way to enhance your EHP experience. On designated weekends your Chief Critic may also arrange for visiting artists or group activities, such as workshops, or even a field trip.

Will my phone work in Italy?

It’s essential that you have a working phone with data throughout the duration of your EHP semester. Check with your cell provider to ensure you can add an international plan to your coverage or replace your SIM card with a local (or international) SIM. There is a Vodafone within walking distance from the RISD site in Rome where you can get an affordable SIM card during orientation.

How do I prepare for handling money internationally?

  1. Tell your bank your destination (Rome, Italy) and travel dates.
  2. Get to know your bank’s policies for international transaction and exchange fees.
  3. Make sure you have a chipped debit or credit card, and request a pin for ATM withdrawals.
  4. Get to know the exchange rates for Euros.
  5. Make a plan for having local cash upon arrival.
  6. Always have a backup plan! Work with trusted family or friends to understand how you will access funds if you need them in an emergency.

How can I prepare for my physical/mental health while off-campus?

We recommend a physical checkup with your primary care provider prior to travel. If you take daily medications, request a refill with enough medication to last the duration of your trip. If you currently see a mental health professional on a regular basis, share your travel plans and brainstorm how you can maintain your mental health away from home. Once enrolled, you are eligible to contact our international travel health insurance provider in advance to explore local services in your course location and even make appointments and order prescriptions in advance. For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to RISD Health and Wellness.

I am an international student. What should I think about prior to travel?

If you have an I-20 form, you must also ensure that you get it signed for travel by a member of the Office of International Student Services (OISS) before departing the United States. If you are a Permanent Resident you should carry your green card together with your passport. For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Office of International Student Services (OISS).

How do I submit required documents to RISD Global, once accepted?

You will continue to utilize the status page of your online application portal to complete tasks and uploads relevant to your participation in EHP, such as important health and safety processes. You are responsible for checking the portal frequently and completing these tasks in a timely manner once accepted.

What are Pre-departure Meetings?

You will meet your fellow EHP participants at our mandatory pre-departure meetings, where you will learn more about your class, itinerary, assignments, important preparation actions to be taken, travel arrangements, health and safety information, and what to pack! Meeting days, times, and locations will be communicated to you upon your acceptance.

How do I prepare for speaking Italian?

We strongly encourage all students interested in and/or accepted to EHP to begin to learn even basic Italian phrases through digital resources such as DuoLingo, among others. If you're planning ahead for your EHP semester, you might consider cross-registration in a Brown University Italian language course.

As a global citizen, when at all possible, it is important to be able to greet people, ask for directions, thank people, etc. in the local language of the place you are visiting.

How else can I prepare?

For more general pre-departure preparation suggestions, visit our Study Globally FAQ.

EHP Academics

EHP’s transformative interdisciplinary nature is encoded into the fabric of the studio culture in Rome — it arises organically as you absorb, collaborate with, and are inspired by your peers, critics, and Rome itself.

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RISD in Rome

Since 1960, RISD has maintained its site in Rome as a space for interdisciplinary exchange and immersive learning.

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EHP Planner

Apply for EHP the semester before you plan to attend. Eligible semesters: Junior Fall, Junior Spring, Senior+ Fall, Senior+ Spring, Grad Year 1, Grad Year 2+

Spring 2021

Fall Semester 2020

September—October
Attend an information session
Set up a 1:1 advising appointment
October 25
Deadline for Spring Semester EHP application
November
Receive acceptance decision
Attend pre-departure meeting
Apply for travel visa


Spring Semester 2021

January
Arrive in Rome
Attend EHP orientation
See EHP semester calendar
May
Final reviews & exhibition
Depart Rome


European Honors Program
Castelvecchio, Italy 2018
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy